Find out how to take care of your tattoo during the summer.

Are you planning on getting a tattoo or already have one?

In this article, we will explore the risks of getting tattooed in the summer before going on holiday, summer tattoo care tips, and precautions to protect it from the sun. Find out how to enjoy summer without compromising the beauty and integrity of your tattoo.

Getting a tattoo in the summer may not be an ideal choice. During this season, especially before going on holiday, it’s best to avoid getting tattooed, unless you’re traveling to cooler destinations, where you’ll probably cover up without exposing the tattoo.

But even in that case, are you sure you want to spend your holiday worrying about your tattoo? Because after the tattoo is done, the final result will entirely depend on how you take care of it.

What happens if you get a tattoo in the summer?

In summertime, many feel the desire to get tattooed shortly before the holidays to show off their tattoo at the beach, without considering that this could jeopardize its successful outcome.

On holiday, we just want to relax and not worry about tight clothes rubbing against our tattoo, constantly applying cream, being cautious with water, and so on.

Sand can get into the wound and cause irritation or infections, while seawater can aid the healing process but it’s not advisable to stay immersed for too long.

Exposing a tattoo to the sun during the healing phase is equally discouraged. The tattoo is a wound, and sun exposure can damage it, increasing the risk of keloid formation (excessive production of scar tissue that can cause bumps), especially in areas like the shoulders and chest.

Even if you’re thinking of protecting yourself under a beach umbrella, this will only provide very limited protection, since the sun rays reflected from the sand still maintain some of their energy.

The excitement of showing off your new tattoo at the beach may make you think that you will take care of it, but on holiday it’s easy to forget to wash the tattoo, apply cream, or pay attention to possible situations that may cause an infection.

Furthermore, you might completely forget about the tattoo during a full night of partying. Ultimately, the consequences can be two-fold: ruining your vacation or ruining the tattoo.

Tips for planning a tattoo in the summer

If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo before going on holiday, it’s best to postpone it. It’s best to get the tattoo at least a month before your holiday or visit your tattoo artist and plan the project in order to get tattooed upon your return.

For example, in my case, since I create exclusive designs for my clients, I need time to bring them to life, particularly in the case of large-scale projects like sleeves or back pieces.

Throughout the entire creation process, I share each step with the client, involving them and giving them the opportunity to assess the progress of the artwork. This way, they can enjoy the sun and observe the tattoo’s evolution, which they can then start when they come back from their holiday.

If you want to start designing your tattoo, contact me.

However, keep in mind that tattooing on tanned skin is not ideal. If you’re considering a small black tattoo, it might not be a problem, but if you want something more complex like a realistic or colourful tattoo, your tan can affect the perception of colours and shades of gray.

This could lead the tattoo artist to create shades that are either too light or too intense or choose colours that might have a different effect once the tan fades. Therefore, it’s best to wait for the tan to fade before getting tattooed.

Protecting your tattoo during the summer

Even if you already have a tattoo, avoid exposing it to prolonged sunlight, especially during the summer months. Sun rays can damage the pigments of every colour, including tattoos.

Imagine repeatedly exposing your favourite t-shirt to the sun—it will inevitably fade. Similarly, you wouldn’t want that to happen to your tattoo.

When exposing your tattoo to the sun it’s essential to protect it with a high SPF sunscreen, at least SPF 50+. If you have a particularly important or cherished tattoo, it’s even better to keep it covered, avoiding direct sun exposure.

Of course, it depends on how much time you stay in the sun. For example, legs and chest are rarely exposed, so a protective cream might suffice. But If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in the sun, like when you’re gardening for example, it would be preferable to cover it up with a t-shirt.

For arm tattoos, which are often exposed to the sun, you can consider using UV protection sleeves, which are available at affordable prices.


Continued tattoo care during the summer

In summer, you may experience swelling and itching in certain areas of your tattoo. This can particularly happen if the tattoo artist went in too deep with the needle, but also if the tattoo was executed flawlessly.

The increase in temperature promotes vasodilation, including the semi-liquid pigment beneath the skin, especially in the lines where there’s a higher concentration of ink compared to shaded areas. Blood circulation is also stimulated, and the body, perceiving the ink as a foreign substance, may trigger the reaction of macrophages to try and eliminate it.

This phenomenon persists throughout life and is one of the reasons why tattoos tend to fade over the years. This process can intensify in summer, causing swelling and itching.

To alleviate these symptoms, it is advisable to keep the skin moisturized by applying a moisturizing cream and make sure to drink plenty of water to hydrate the body from within.

Summer will pass, and you will be ready to show off your tattoo once again or plan your next one.

Happy tattooing! 😉